Second – Indo US 2 + 2 – December 2019 – Key Takeaways & Projections
The steady and step by step progress in Indo US strategic relationship is evident with signing of a number of pacts during the annual meetings held first at the level of the defence and the foreign ministers separately and now the 2 + 2 where the two key ministers are meeting jointly to ensure strategic convergence is achieved.
The series of agreements ensure military to military concord and enhance interoperability while the industry engagement is now also furthered by having enabling pacts thus achieving holistic progress.
Thus, after the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was signed 2018 meet, the Industrial Security Annexure is the key achievement in 2019 which would facilitate convergence of defence industries on the two sides. The Logistics support agreement known has the LEMOA has been signed by the two sides in 2017.
New agreements are being signed at each such meet with the present one as per US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo including space exploration and defense industrial collaboration.
Exchange program for legislators, new initiatives to help secure internships for innovators and US support to India’s Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure were the additional achievements this time.
Inaugural Quad Ministerial Meeting in New York – Australia, India was a key achievement this year while the US support to Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative at the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok on 4th November 2019 adds value to the engagement
Both shared assessments of the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Indian Ocean region in general.
Expanding Areas of Convergence
India and the US apart from the Indo Pacific are coordinating assistance in the US CENTCOM and AFRICOM, and MCG led by joint services headquarter IDS. Promoting UN peacekeeping capacity-building of our partners in the Indo-Pacific, expanding on a successful program of trilateral cooperation that both of us did with African countries.
Increasing inter-operability – The new annual exercise called Tiger Triumph, will enhance tri-service coordination and allow us to exchange knowledge and expertise. hotline between me and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, carrying out the first tri-service exercise, setting up a link between the NHQ and USINDOPACOM, posting an ELO at NAVCENT in Bahrain, hotline between me and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, carrying out the first tri-service exercise, setting up a link between the NHQ and USINDOPACOM, posting an ELO at NAVCENT in Bahrain. invitation to the United States to nominate a liaison officer for the international fusion center in India.
Industrial Security Annex, will facilitate collaboration between our defense industries by supporting the secure transfer of key information and technology. We also finalized three agreements under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, which will enhance our ability to co-produce and co-develop critical technologies.
Setting up the enabling U.S.-origin platforms with secure communication capability has also been achieved while there is a need for operationalizing the COMCASA, which was signed during the last 2+2 meeting.
Significant transfer of defense technology and increased investment by U.S. defense companies in India under the “Make in India” program. We have also identified priority program, which can be selected and executed under the DTTI program. We have also identified a standard operating procedure for this process. We have invited U.S. companies to further invest in India under the “Make in India” program.
Trade, Iran and China – Sore Points
While US Ambassador Lighthizer and his Indian counter-part are working hard. Over the last 24 months, U.S. crude and LNG exports to India have increased by more than $6 billion. Never the less a common framework or a free trade agreement is nowhere in the offing between the US and India
While the United States highlighted Iran and the maximum pressure campaign and China’s technology related risks and “unfair and predatory economic activity in the Indo-Pacific presents a risk to those very freedoms,” Indian side did not comment on the same.